Asheville is only about a 3 1/2 hour drive away from Atlanta, so it made for the absolutely perfect last minute getaway. It’s a super easy drive with gorgeous mountainous views. We had heard a little bit about Asheville from friends and from Pinterest, but we were still surprised by how many cool unique breweries there were and how walkable they were to each other.
We stayed at a little Airbnb about a 30 minute walk from downtown Asheville, called the Zen Cabin. It was tiny, but it was perfect for us, since we planned on being out hiking and drinking the whole time.
Once we arrived, we dropped off our things and immediately headed downtown to start our beercation. We didn’t arrive until around 4:30 in the afternoon, so we only went to four breweries the first day — but there are so many that looked awesome that we missed — so we definitely plan on coming back.
Our first stop was Wicked Weed. At first glance, it looks like a cool indoor/outdoor restaurant, but you have to go downstairs to the beer bar. Downstairs had 9 additional beers on tap, and we each did a beer flight. I loved the beer flights at Wicked Weed because you got to pick 6 beers from anything that they had available, and it was only $8. They also had unlimited free pretzels and mustard! It was a super cool place, all outdoors with bulb lights, huge picnic tables, and really dog friendly.
Next we walked a little further down to Catawba, where we both got another beer flight. You can choose from four preset beer flights at Catawba, and each come with four beers for $8. Catawba had a really cool indoor area with barrels stacked on the walls, but it also had a cool outdoor area with rotating food trucks. By the time we had gotten there it started to get chilly, so we stayed inside after trying out the sweet cinnamon plantains from the Vitamina T food truck.
Burial Beer Co.
After Catawba, we were hungry, so we decided to try Salt & Smoke, which is located within the Burial Beer Co.’s patio. Burial Beer Co. has an awesome patio, with tons of seating, tons of bulb lights, and for some reason reminded me of a cool outdoor bar in Budapest. We grabbed a Burial Beer and tried the roasted pork sandwich and the grilled steak sandwich, and both were absolutely delicious.
Twin Leaf Brewery (& trivia)
On our way to Burial Beer Co., we passed by Twin Leaf Brewery, and we knew we had to check it out later. We walked in on a hopping trivia night, and loved how spacious the area was. There were huge windows, lots of seating space, but also giant Jenga and a Foosball table. They also have $8 flights, and apparently they have amazing pretzels that we somehow missed. We definitely will have to come back to this one.
Highland Brewing Company
The next day, after our 8-mile hike, we stopped by Highland Brewing Company, which is further out from the other breweries, but definitely a cool spot to check out if you can. They have a huge indoor space, perfect for live music, an outdoor patio and a rooftop. They have a you-pick beer flight for $8 as well.
Brewery Food Trucks
I’m a huge food truck fan, so anytime I have a chance I love trying out new food trucks. The food truck scene in Asheville is pretty big, and there are always rotating food trucks at most of the breweries. Click here to check out the schedule.
Just two blocks away from where we were staying is this super adorable homestyle restaurant, called Home Grown. Every uber driver that dropped us off at our Airbnb told us we had to try this place. There’s a place in Atlanta called Home Grown and we love it, so we knew this would definitely be on our list. We went for breakfast one morning when it was raining, and it was amazing. I got the open faced fried chicken biscuit and gravy — two of my favorite staples mixed into one — and it was everything you can imagine and more. The chicken was cooked perfectly, and trust me I’ve had plenty of fried chicken biscuits. My boyfriend had the huevos rancheros, which had the perfect spice from the chorizo and the perfect southern twist with the cheesy grits. Overall, I 100% recommend this place when you’re in Asheville!
Oyster House Brewing Company
This brewpub is located in West Asheville and is the perfect place to have local beer and a good bite to eat. We sat outside, people watched, decided we could totally live here, and drank beer brewed with oysters, while munching on some oysters. I’m a sucker for a good failure to success story, so read the owner’s story here and you’ll know you’ll have to try their unique beer!
After apps and a few drinks at the Oyster House Brewing Company, we walked a few blocks down in search of a place for dinner. Feeling indecisive, we walked down the street and picked Buffalo Nickel, really because the people were super friendly and the place looked really cool. I’m glad the friendly people lured us in, because the food was amazing. They have tapas styled foods as well as entrees, but we decided to go with the tapas style. We got the mac and cheese (definitely recommend!!), chicken wings, cheese curds, and pulled pork tacos. The other super cool thing about this place is that they have a game room, filled with arcade games, pool tables, dart boards, etc. The weird thing about this place is that when you google it, google tells you that it’s permanently closed….but it’s not. We googled it before we went in, and it said it was closed, and I just googled it again and it still says it’s closed…but it was very much open when we went!
12 Bones BBQ
If you are looking for some amazing Carolina BBQ, then you have to try 12 Bones. It’s located in the River Arts district and is only open on weekdays! I grew up in Georgia, so I’m already pretty picky when it comes to BBQ, but I promise this place will not disappoint. The fall off the bone ribs, and the perfect batch of potato salad and mac and cheese, made this a place that I will always recommend to anyone passing through Asheville. We may have went overboard with two half rack of ribs and four sides…but there were no regrets, just overly full stomachs. Don’t forget to stop by the galleries in the River Arts districts to walk off the food!
Red Ginger Dimsum and Tapas
How did we stumble upon this place? Honestly don’t remember but I guess we decided that Asheville would be a great time for Timmer’s first time trying dimsum…and it was a great decision. We decided to split four things – Szechuan Wonton, Pork Spare Rib, Black Truffle Shu Mai and Steamed BBQ Pork Bun. It was the perfect dinner to end our rainy evening.
Remember that time I said I had plenty of chicken biscuits? I wasn’t kidding – I’m a southern girl and I like my biscuits. So obviously I had to try Asheville’s favorite biscuit place — Biscuit Head. This place is no joke; with the the line literally wrapped around the corner, we knew this place would be worth the wait. And of course it was. I had the pulled pork biscuit and he had the fried chicken biscuit, and although the picture doesn’t do it justice, this place was really really delicious and 100% worth the wait.
This speakeasy/hidden gem was one of my favorite spots in Asheville. In order to come in, you have to become a ‘member’ but you can bring up to 6 guests. In order to become a member, you have to sign a form and pay an exorbent fee of $1. The cocktails are divine, there’s an awesome rooftop patio, and with every drink you buy, you get a key to a locker and within each locker is a little snack!
This little pub was wonderful – great for people watching, great for dinks, and amazing for live music! We walked into a jam session, and it was exactly what we were looking for.
Red Stag Grill Lounge
If you’re looking for something more upscale and chic, you should try the Red Stag Grill Lounge in the Biltmore village. With fancy furniture, a cozy fireplace, a live piano player, and great small bites, this was a great place for us when we were feeling like drinking something other than beer. The Biltmore Village is great in general, as there are wonderful places to shop and people watch.
Okay so we only went on one hike while we were in Asheville, but we got lost and climbed up a random mountain before turning around to find the hiking trail we actually wanted so that we could see the waterfalls, so in my opinion that counts as at least two hikes. The mountain we accidentally climbed was kind of scary, super steep, but the actual hike we meant to take was really nice, with plenty of areas for camping and bonfires, and super dog friendly. The waterfall was beautiful and serene, and although not dog friendly to get to the actual waterfall, someone had kindly left out ropes to make it easier to make it down to the falls.